NoHangingAround.com

In mid October I started cycling North of Cape Town in South Africa. I am originally from Dublin, Ireland but had a dream of cycling alone across the Continent. Since leaving Cape Town, I have cycled up the Western Coast, through Namibian Desert and right over to the Botswana border.

I have mostly slept in a tent with all my supplies to survive on the bicycle. Lately there have been more and more animals around the tent at night and I meet very few people day to day given how remote this part of Africa.

I had no cycling experience prior to this trip and no training...zero!

The extremity of weather, complete isolation, risks involved have all made this to be the most difficult challenge I could have imagined - Please ask anything you like...about the locals, food, the cycle, the animals, the fear, the wild camping, the burning sun, the desert...... :)

There are tonnes of pics etc on the website www.nohangingaround.com www.facebook.com/nohangingaround

All donations made go to Ireland's Child cancer charity Aoibheann's Pink Tie who support the child and their family in their battle against cancer. Please email me through the website if interested in writing about my trip - I love bloggers :)))

Thanks so far for all the questions and votes, Given that Ive only myself for motivation out here its great having support online lol

Derek

My Twitter feed is www.twitter.com/nohangingaround

Comments: 1229 • Responses: 118  • Date: 

_snoop_298 karma

How would you like your remains to be disposed of?

nohanging350 karma

If you can get Tom Cruise to fly a fighter jet over Dublin and drop it into the River Liffey I'd be fairly happy with that?

CrockMuncher217 karma

If you ever see a lion please tell him crockmuncher said hi!

nohanging138 karma

I'll write it down, hopefully I never do :)

HappyLittleBoy153 karma

What are your emergency plans? How much spare bike parts do you carry?

Also, what does Mammy think of all this carry on?

nohanging147 karma

Can you be more specific re emergency plans? I have first aid etc but really, I don't have any - You can get global tracking devices but I dont have one, I just try make good decisions consistently. ONE is that I always take more water than needed.

Bike parts I have everything, 6 spare tubes, repair kits, 2 spare continental tyres, 10 spare spokes, 6 spare brake pads, spare gear cables, brake cables, spare cassette, lube, oil...pretty much everything. The one thing I could not find enroute is a spare hub for the back wheel so fingers crossed!

Lol parents are not around (RIP) to explain all of this too....I'm not sure Id have been able haha they inspired me to do the trip actually, my first post on NoHangingAround.com explains everything re that! My brothers thought I was mental and very worried but they have since been inspired about it and telling everyone they know. The site has grabbed a lot of attention in my home, Ireland so all the worry and comments about it being mental have been replaced with words like Epic and amazing..Its been great to see really, Ive been overwhelmed by it all...especially some of the celebrities who got in touch!

MerryWalrus239 karma

Dude, you need that global tracking device.

nohanging73 karma

It would be nice to have one Merry Walrus. From your experience, what reasons do I need one?

MerryWalrus170 karma

I've cycled long enough to know accidents happen.

Suppose your bike becomes unridable at some point (you bend your front forks, significantly buckle your wheel).

You fall off and are too injured to cycle in the middle of nowhere.

Someone steals your bike in the middle of nowhere - or at a 'border crossing' it gets confiscated.

You simply get lost in the middle of nowhere.

nohanging66 karma

I keep mentioning this, the roads I travel have traffic -trucks/tourists/locals every day. If something like this happens, I can flag someone down

Primordial_cone41 karma

Carry a malaria self test kit and some doxy. You'll need it.

nohanging22 karma

Have several Primordial and well used to using them over the years cheers :)

nohanging30 karma

By the way, I have no cycling experience and zero training before departing cape town!

spiffyclip335 karma

Yeah this sounds like a good idea.

nohanging29 karma

LOL

HappyLittleBoy22 karma

By emergency plans I mean if you got a serious injury, got lost, or got robbed. Hope those don't happen, obviously, but it's good to have a plan just in case.

nohanging20 karma

Serious injury there is always some sort of traffic on the roads I travel. I don't have to wait long in most parts. Got lost, not possible really - compass maps and signposts. The only time I might get lost is in a town/village/city! Got robbed - try to prevent it, tasers - otherwise deal with it the same way as home and report it to police at the next station.

iammakingitup164 karma

[deleted]

nohanging74 karma

Thats a brilliant idea and great advice iammakinhitup - appreicate it, Derek

onemoreape103 karma

You are living the dream, true freedom. Good luck out there and stay safe. Trust your gut.

nohanging46 karma

Cheers onemoreape, it's been a rough road - thanks for your support and advice :)

alexbisio70 karma

I hope you don't conquer your fear of death

nohanging31 karma

You have a way with words, me too :)

GorillaBallet61 karma

Good luck but watch out for this guy... he's probably still out there.

nohanging39 karma

haha what an awesome clip LOL the wildlife usually bolts for the horizon when it spots or smells me tbh....but I'll keep an eye out thanks Gorilla!

truecanuck55 karma

What is the scariest thing that has happened so far? And to avoid being a downer, what is the most amazing thing you have seen so far?

nohanging127 karma

Scariest thing was two nights ago, I often wake to the sound of animals but never too bothered about it. I heard Hyenas in the distance 2 nights ago and when you are alone in a tent....terrifying. To be honest I've worried a lot about it since.

The most amazing probably the first time rolling up silently behind a group of zebra in the South Namib desert area, It was very isolated, they didn't smell or hear me....it was pretty special and my first moment I realised why I was cycling across Africa! Cheers :)

truecanuck20 karma

Aack. Hyenas scare me so much. I hope you have a good rest of your trip! I would be too scared to do something like that and I think it's amazing that you are doing what you want to do!

nohanging22 karma

Thanks man, yeah they scare the hell out of me too...it was my biggest concern pre trip and very real at the moment. follow the journey if you can - website is above...loads of pics!

oz_guy49 karma

Are you traveling through Congo? After reading this epic tale I certainly hope not! http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/50799-Democratic-Republic-of-Congo-Lubumbashi-to-Kinshasa

nohanging59 karma

No way, DRC is not safe for tourists, neither is Sierra Leone, neither is Somalia...I'm all up for exploring and visiting less travelled places but there's a list for this and very real reasons not to enter some countries. Cheers for the link, i'll give it a read but I can already see they went too far whether they were unlucky or not

elljaysa105 karma

I admire what you're doing, so please don't take this the wrong way, but you sound incredibly naive.

Africa is not like the rest of world in as much as "If I get robbed I'll report it at the next police station". Even in South Africa, your starting destination (and arguably most westernised of the countries you'll be cycling through), the chances of the police doing anything, as in even filling in a report over a stolen bicycle are low. I have so many questions which related to you being a target:

  • Are you carrying cash?
  • Is your route published anywhere?
  • Are you meeting anyone along the way?
  • Do you have Visas for every country?
  • Do you have any means of getting home in the event of a mechanical failure? Who will you call? How will you get picked up?
  • How are you charging electronic devices?
  • Do you have medical insurance (which in the majority of cases will be of little use anyway considering the level of care available).

The reason I ask some of the above:

  • Cash obviously makes you a target, as does being a white guy with loads of shiny kit. Travelling alone in remote areas, I know it can be hard to get around, but I'd certainly try my very best to conceal what I had.
  • Carrying a taser will not help you. I can't help but feel you're filling yourself with a misguided sense of security. I'd be compliant in any robbery and try to explain your way out of it. Never take a taser to a potential gunfight.
  • Having to charge electronic devices (other than your own solar chargers) will attract people to you. Again, it makes you a target.
  • Just being alone makes you a target, I'd be at least telling people that there were others with me, or waiting for me at the next stop, or that the car is coming a few miles behind to watch me etc. Don't let people know how vulnerable you are if questioned.
  • Avoid Algeria, northern Nigeria (all Nigeria if possible), the entire horn of Africa and Mali to name but a few. Anti-western Islamic groups (Boko Haram etc) would pay good money to kidnap a westerner. If your route is published online, you are literally giving them instructions on how to do this.
  • Remember that this is Africa and that bribery is common amongst officials, including the police. Don't trust anyone but yourself and follow your first instinct. If you feel some shit is going down, give them what they want and get away as fast as possible.
  • Following on from that, queues at border crossings and the crossings themselves can be notoriously difficult to navigate due to the expectation of bribes and the inefficiency of the systems etc. This down time is again vulnerable time.
  • Talk to other visitors as often as possible, see if they're going to other places that you'll be going, let them know what you're doing, if they're heading to a destination, get them to let people there know inns or camping spots you're coming etc. Not only will this keep you in the right peoples minds, it'll mean your seen with others a lot and may make you less of a target.
  • Most dangerous wild animals avoid loud noise and chase things that run. In the unlikely event you're accosted by one, I'd have a strategy in mind (the taser might be good here)!

I'm (as you can tell) the world's most pessimistic person when it comes to Africa, but I am genuinely really in awe of what you're trying to do. Wish you all the best, stay safe!

edit: a word (thanks u/WhaleMeatFantasy)

nohanging89 karma

A great post and thanks for same.

1) yes I carry cash hidden in different places 2) my route is never disclosed 3) I will meet several people in several places enroute/many friends 4)Visas all sorted 5) mechanical failure I travel roads that are travelled by vehicles daily/every day - the worst that can happen is stay overnight where I am but I always have supplies to cater for same. 6)Electric devices charged in campsites or guesthouses if I find one 7)med insurance yes

I completely understand your concerns and actually I appreciate you took time to come here and express them in such detail, really - thank you.

I'm not sure you have read this in the thread but I have 2 and a half years experience of travelling and leading expeditions across 14 countries in Africa. My risks are calculated as much as possible, I'm afraid if we all took heed of the reasons NOT to go and do all these things in life then were is the adventure at all?

Re border crossings in particular, for example the border I reach tomorrow - I calculate I have crossed it on more than 20 occasions prior to this one :)

Thanks for the post :)) Derek

elljaysa32 karma

OK, that makes sense. I didn't see your prior experience, I only saw responses where you said you'd done absolutely no prep whatsoever. I thought it was crazy for someone to just get off a plane and start cycling! It sounds like you've planned it better than I was led to believe! Good luck.

nohanging26 karma

No training or cycling experience is different to going into something blind lol cheers thanks a lot :)

Derek

oz_guy20 karma

Do you have a favourite country so far? how long are you spending in each city? Are the people you meet radically different from those back home? Good luck and safe journies!

nohanging50 karma

Namibia is the most scenic for sure but it gets ridiculously lonely being alone - its one of the largest, least inhabited countries in the world! I'm looking forward to getting past botswana where it is much more populated...its incredibly hard doing everything alone.

I spent 6 days in Windhoek just to hang out and take a proper rest but usually no more than 2 nights.

I love that you asked that last question OZ, I'm very well travelled all over the world but it took this journey to spell something out to me in black in white. We are all the exact same, the same feelings, needs, emotions, ideas - the main difference is that people in Africa who have nothing are generally much more friendly, hospitable and caring than in the western world...fact. Its been so heartwarming how people have wanted to look after me here. Seriously, great question thanks

rycb_ar1249 karma

I've been to Sierra Leone! I went as a tourist, visiting my friend who is in the Peace Corps there. What makes you think it isn't safe for tourists?

nohanging15 karma

Actually you are dead right, I don't know this. Very good point.

wanttobeacop7 karma

Considering the danger, would you want to visit Afghanistan?

nohanging10 karma

no, I would choose not to. Risk would seem too high.

starrecovery48 karma

How did this experience impact on the health of your pubic hair?

nohanging74 karma

My pubic hair has changed colour a couple of times but without knowing I seem to have also grown a beard to challenge Forrest Gump

Kemintiri47 karma

I have no questions but wish you a safe journey.

And I hope we see you after it for another IamA.

nohanging26 karma

Thanks for that Kemintiri, I will definitely do another IamA afterward :)

Jeemdee39 karma

ITT: people who have never been to Africa warning OP of an imminent death.

ITT: people who have actually been to Africa saying it was the most beautiful experience they ever had, and the locals are the kindest of people.

nohanging14 karma

Funniest part is I have 2 years experience leading trips across 14 African Countries and another 6 months travel on top of it. :)

ArcherInPosition37 karma

Have you read Into the Wild?

nohanging15 karma

Recently yeah, too sad and I'm glad I read it when I did....trust me , the risks dont compare

d_rather28 karma

What is the cost of doing something like this? If you could comment on everything that would be awesome (i.e. airfare costs and other prerequisites).

nohanging36 karma

Oh wow, this will be approx

Airfare from Dublin: $600 one way Bicycle: $170 Panniers & bike parts: $600 Camping Equip & Tent (brought with me but approx $250)

Accomodation is very random, it will be much cheaper the further north I go but aprox $5/10 per night. Obviously free when I camp wild.

Food approx $5 per day

I budget around $15 per day

Some people do extreme touring on $5 per day believe it or not - I couldnt do that, Id hate it!

Alohagem25 karma

This is just so beautiful: "it took this journey to spell something out to me in black in white. We are all the exact same, the same feelings, needs, emotions, ideas"

In a world so fragmented, it's powerful to acknowledge the common human experiences we all share. No matter who we are or where we live, we all experience life and death, require the same basic needs (food, water, shelter) for survival, are all susceptible to injury and illness, to pain and suffering.

I think the constant and conscious reminder of this is honestly what keeps me sane.

nohanging33 karma

I'm glad you noticed this, you know Ive started to wonder if I will ever cry on this trip...its been so tough at times and lonely. But I haven't, I can only assume I have strengthened in ways beyond my understanding through this.

The reason I am telling you is because I almost cried last week when a local tried to help me, he had nothing, torn clothes etc and was really trying to help me get my stuff back on the bike properly. He never asked for anything in return and with a big smile he waved me down the road. I wanted to go back, the man was happy...yet seemed like he had little to be happy about and then this kindness........yeah I felt teary then.

Thanks a lot

ClintonThill24 karma

What do you do for sleep?

nohanging43 karma

I have a tent strapped on the bike. If I can find a campsite - great but they are more and more uncommon the further i venture so ending up having to sleep in the bush. Its this simple, I cannot always make the distance between towns so have no choice.

I have stayed in a few guesthouses along the way also as a treat, i did this twice after being knocked sideways by heat exhaustion...Slept solid for a day and night afterward! :)

adventurepants23 karma

Bike mechanic here, what's your bike setup? Are you using internal gears? how much does it weigh? I will be sharing your journey and good luck!

nohanging12 karma

Cheers man, the setup is very very basic. 21 shimano gears - ill put pics on the site soon. the bike weighs around 75kg before I get on it....have you ridden tour bikes yeah? Two small panniers on front, makeshift handlebar bag, two large panniers on bag with one large dry bag across the top. Water bottles spread everywhere!

Fyodor00723 karma

You're a bad ass. It's not the same, but in 2012, I went out on my Motorcycle for 7 weeks, just living on the road. It was a taste of something greater, the spirit of adventure that lives in us all. It makes me want to ride forever and never stop.

Lean into your fear, it is your compass. Cheers brother. Best of luck!

nohanging21 karma

Fyodor007 seriously awesome thing to say. I plan on doing all of this again on my motorbike one day - hopefully with a special someone in tow lol thanks again

eurotrashshow14 karma

If for whatever reason you wind up in Nairobi, PM me. If I'm not traveling for work I'd be glad to put you up for a day or 2.

nohanging10 karma

Awesome thanks for that, I'll take you up on that. I usually stay in the area around Karen :) Thanks a lot, Derek

27explosions14 karma

I've seen you mention you were well traveled before this adventure. I was wondering if you could tell me the places you have been to, or if that's too extensive, your favourite places you have been to?

nohanging39 karma

I have travelled solo through Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru and Bolivia. Driven across most of Canada from Sascathchaun to Quebec, likewise I've driven across the US and visited it many times.

UK, France (many times), Germany (many times), Czech Rep, slovakia, holland, belgium, spain (lived for 2 years), switzerland...actually I'll stop there, I've visited many in Europe.

Lived in Australia for a year, travelled SE Asia Thailand (twice), Cambodia, Vietnam.

Travelled through Jordan solo and very briefly Israel

Worked and travelled across Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Egypt, Lesotho. Spent a lot of time in each of these - not just visits or touring.

My favourites? Tanzania as I climbed kili there, love the serengetti and zanzibar & Bolivia for how amazing I found the people, so friendly :)

TheCockslayer13 karma

I really hope all goes well. I hope you truly find what you were looking for along the way.

nohanging12 karma

What an awesome thing to say-I'm getting there and actually it's not so much about the bike trip anymore but more about a "journey" (without being too philisophical)

Sounds like you understand , thank you

Derek

n0tcreatlve12 karma

Nohanging....If you ever make it up to Asmara,Eritrea. Let me know. I have a myriad of contacts including my personal family and friends....I can offer you safe housing either in Massawa or Asmara indefinitely. Food. Water. etc...etc.. I'll PM you.

nohanging11 karma

Thanks look forward to the PM, are you there yourself?

danozi11 karma

Hi Derek,

Good on you! Will be adding you to the touring blogs I live vicariously through, hopefully doing my own journey in the next couple of years.

Had a very brief look at the website but I couldn't see what kit you're using, would you mind giving a quick run down on what you have and pros/cons to date?

I noticed that you said you had no cycling experience prior to this, what has been the most difficult part of the trip to date? Best part?

Thanks for doing the IAma and hope your trip goes brilliantly!

Cheers, Dan

nohanging17 karma

Hey Danozi, What type of trip are you thinking of? I'm already planning my next lol

Actually there's so much kit, I'll be putting it on the site soon. Basically 4 pannier bags and one big dry bag. One set of clothes, one set of cycle gear, wet gear, netbook/kindle, stove, cooking pot...spares for everything on the bike, 10 litres water plus, tent, sleeping bag lol Ill put up a full list soon on the site. In total the weight on the bike is around the same as me 75kg

Yeah no cycling exp, the most difficult part is not the cycling - you get used to that, even the massive hill climbs. One difficult part is the heat/sun which is relentless and no shade...can be desperate. But by far the hardest part is being alone - no contest. Every day is mentally challenging, the trip breaks you at times, there's none to motivate you, it gets so, so, so lonely....but in a way it has been the most beneficial part as it taught me so much about myself. I said before, I cannot wait to reach more populated areas up north.

Best part....ill be completely honest, looking at the map at how far I've come but also peoples reactions over here - they mostly think its epic and its reason enough to make me happy :) The scenery and animals come a close second but I have to be honest the reality has been the changes this journey has been making in me myself.

Appreciate the questions, let me know when you pick a trip :) Derek

wanttobeacop8 karma

How do you not run out of food and water in the desert? Where do you get the food? How did you get an internet connection?

nohanging7 karma

Hey wanttobeacop, I carry 15 litres for a long period. tbh there has not been a day when I have not found somewhere to get water - even the Namib desert. There has always been a farm around 100km down the road. Fill up everywhere - filling stations, shops, church, police station

Food I buy in shops, never need to carry more than a few days with me - usually noodles, biscuits, chocolate, bread, peanut butter - buy meat in towns :)

Thanks

Derek

wanttobeacop4 karma

Cool. Thanks for answering. And how'd you get the internet connection?

nohanging5 karma

lol through my cellphone coverage, local sim card :)

ali4skyline8 karma

Wow! Your a great inspiration my friend, You only live once and you should be able to do the things you want to do. I hope to start an amazing adventure like this one day in my life! maybe I can join you next time :) LOL. Good luck brotha and stay safe :)

nohanging10 karma

Thanks for the compliment! Yeah why don't you email me some details through the site, I'm all up for hearing new ideas about adventure...this one will come to an end some day - I'll need a new one!

And hey, you should definitely start planning one. First rule: Don't listen to anyone putting your ideas down :)

Derek

theNEGATRON7 karma

Why did you decide to do it? Also what are your fears and which ones have you faced so far? I'm not planning to make you face the other ones or anything....

nohanging26 karma

Deciding to do it isn't so easy to answer but ultimately I felt the need for a big challenge to test me physically and mentally - Life wasn't the best at the time. The website will explain it better in more detail.

My fears

Being completely alone: You hear it everyday how people feel alone etc but really, we are NEVER alone. Except for riding through the desert....it's intimidating and scary at first. Worrying about having enough water, what if something happened? an injury? the bicycle jacks in?

Wildlife: I'm battling this one a lot now on the border of Botswana...I have a huge fear of dangerous animals since a camping trip in Canada where wolves dug holes around my tent. I haven't conquered this and dont expect to...being alone in the middle of nowhere is terrifying, every leaf that rustles outside sounds like a lion/hyena at this stage!

The weather was never a fear but now I realise how lethal the sun is. Its 40 degrees at the moment and Ive had heat exhaustion at least four times...its dangerous.

They are the biggest, everything else is minor - I never worry about people, food etc :)

diagonallines7 karma

Fear #1: BICYCLING ACROSS AFRICA

nohanging3 karma

Aint that the truth!

Ravenhaft6 karma

This is really fascinating. I have a couple questions.

1) Do most people speak English? I'd imagine you have to buy supplies and it'd be important to get those. Do you speak any other languages as part of your survival toolkit? 2) Is your route taking you through any particularly dangerous areas that you're concerned about? The animals may be scary but aggressive people who want a netbook may be scarier. I know South Africa is relatively safe though.

Keep up the good work and don't get eaten by any wild beasts!

nohanging11 karma

Thanks Raven,

1) A lot do, English is common but the tribes/locals such as Herrero or Nama do not. If I need help its easy to explain with actions ...and fun lol I can speak a little swahili but that's no use until East Africa - Spanish, French and Irish are not common where I am going either! I have never had issues in all my time in Africa speaking English but it's polite to try to speak the local language - they absolutely love when someone takes time to do this....actually they find it hysterical lol

2) Actually South Africa is not safe at all in the context. The cities and townships there have the worst crime rates in Africa along with Nigeria. Re dangerous areas, I pass through areas such as Harare in Zimbabwe which is considered "dangerous" by media and western governments. It's like any city, keep your wits and avoid poor areas. I've actually met the Minister for Tourism in Zim and been interviewed on national tv in the past, the media will lead you to believe these places are hell on earth but if you compare the newspaper headlines in such places to say, the UK - they're not too dissimilar.

Thanks for the comments lol and questions :)

Derek

HIGGINS285 karma

I admire your motivation.

nohanging3 karma

and you're awesome for saying that, thanks

Prof_Pwnage4 karma

Are there really big fucking spiders in Africa? If so what kind and did you poop your pants in fear? And what is the scariest situation you've been in so far?

nohanging9 karma

I've seen spiders but none too big yet, they are here though yes.

I'm surprised nobody asked yet but one one particular day on the Western Coast of South Africa I passed tonnes of snakes on the roadside (some dead) and trust me...I hate them! At one stage I cycled right past a black cobra and only saw it at the last second - youd never seen someones ankles shoot up in the air.

Spiders/snakes dont like confrontation

MrSm1lez4 karma

Are you worried about encountering hostile groups of people? I'm ignorant on the subject so I'm not sure what areas are safer than others, but I'd love to hear how you're handling this. Have a safe trip!

nohanging15 karma

Hey Mr Smilez,

You know, I suffered a lot in the past with anxiety - over everything, even the smallest little things and what you have just asked would definitely be something I would have considered worth worrying about.

Truth is you cannot do anything other than avoid such known areas, an example is Northern Kenya. More importantly you can only deal with a situation if it arises so really, it does no good worrying about it too much. Its healthy to have some fear but not so much that it debilitates you from reacting to it.

I have passed many townships (poor areas). On one quiet dirt road 3 rough, desperate looking guys approached me and I was sure they would try something...I had my taser ready but they just wished me well.

my point is you cant do anything other than use common sense and try to avoid known areas for trouble.

In general everyone I have met has been very friendly, really helpful. In a lot of cases intimidated by the crazy guy on the bike cycling across Africa. I'm not naive in this sense, believe me - Ive travelled and encountered hostile situations in the past but THIS should not concern you so much about a trip like this.

The main dangers are the weather, running out of water and wildlife.

Thanks Derek

xkittenpuncher4 karma

what was your life back then? what kind of profession did you have back in your country? and what did your boss' face looked like when you told him you'll be travelling through Africa with a bike?

nohanging21 karma

Hey kitten, I started working in the tourism industry in Ireland and grew to hate same, it was so corporate, old fashioned and backward...it still is. But in truth my whole life had come to a standstill, I was asking myself "is this it?"...which is never good lol

FYI I have qualifications and backrounds in Investments,banking, construction and leading tours abroad.

My boss heard I was thinking of doing a motorbike trip.He totally squashed the idea and laughed it off, I never told anyone this but that actually hurt - I knew him quite well and could tell he was trying to destroy any hope I had about a trip like that - I just thought it was a crap attitude, who was he to talk about other peoples hopes like that.

About a week later he even brought it up "Are you still thinking of doing that bike trip in africa" laughing, he didn't even wait for a response.

I never told him why I quit, he didn't deserve the time :)

splatch4 karma

I always envied the huge long bike trekkers but found that almost everyone does it in pairs and I wouldn't have a partner. Didn't stop you though, brave dude. Did you anticipate the extreme loneliness before leaving?

nohanging3 karma

I tried imagining it but no I never expected the reality of it - check out www.nohangingaround.com/churchstorm its received a huge response and deals with loneliness...no bullshit, no exagerration......it completely changed me.

But no I never expected it to feel like this, I dont think you can imagine it. But luckily I have reacted well to it

2_minutes_in_the_box3 karma

They have wifi in the desert?

nohanging5 karma

lol actually yeah they did in some of it (cellphone network) but that was 2 weeks ago - Im on the border of Botswana now in a town :)

2_minutes_in_the_box1 karma

Awesome! Good luck, I'll be following you on facebook!

nohanging2 karma

Thanks, if there's no update - I'm out of coverage lol

acsmth503 karma

Goodluck! Hope Simba doesn't eat your face!

nohanging7 karma

haha Simba is the name of a packet of chips over here!

adambankhurst3 karma

Best of luck. I wish you nothing but the best and may this journey bring you everything you dream it to.

I'm rooting for you.

nohanging4 karma

And this is part of what gets me true, thanks for that!

dcz3 karma

Whoa man, that's crazy

Good luck!

Post more pics!

nohanging5 karma

Peace boss and thanks for the kind comments, yeah Im gonna try put a lot more pics up in a weeks time. Of the tent, wild camping, surrounds, roads...you'll see them on the facebook page first. This weeks photos should be awesome

ZacharyCallahan3 karma

Why?

nohanging5 karma

Why am I cycling across Africa?

I knew it would be an epic adventure, I knew it would challenge me physically and mentally. I wasn't going to let other peoples fears affect whether I would follow my dreams :)

Fannybuns3 karma

You mean fear of having your organs sold for voodoo rituals?

nohanging5 karma

lol only if there's no buyback clause

DubInBrizzy3 karma

Dezzie...are ye heading down to the speaker for a pint????? :-)

Legend mate. Following you most days. Can't wait to catch up with you somewhere, sometime to hear all about it.

Stay safe Keano

nohanging8 karma

haha no way Keano!!! Cheers for that, yeah I could really do with a good night out lol actually missing it bigtime - Hopefully New Years I can make it as far as victoria falls which would be awesome :)

The speaker lol thanks buddy

morlu223 karma

Do you have any sort of protection for yourself from the wildlife? Aside from your fist of doom of course. ;)

Either way, props to you and I wish you a safe trip.

nohanging4 karma

Cheers Morlu, Yeah well I have 2 taser guns which I doubt will work lol I sleep beside a pretty sizeable hunting knife...if something does happen though believe me, i wont be getting out of the tent until morning. At which point I can flag down a passing car :) Thanks

imeddy3 karma

Wow, awesome adventure! Could you tell us some things about the camping gear you're using? Be safe!

nohanging2 karma

Thanks imeddy, Yeah sure

The tent is called Kilimanjaro 2, its a two man designed for most weather apart from the complete extremes of say climbing Everest.

Sleeping bag is nothing out of the ordinary either, I have a simple foam roll mat and just ditched my blanket as its too heavy and the weather too hot anyway.

Cooking equip, a titanium pot, MSR stove, 2 small gas cyclinders, utensils and thats it really?

I also carry a can of soda and 100% alcohol as I know how to make a handmade stove using these if the MSR fails.

neversobermejia2 karma

I've wanted to do something like this, I need some adventure. What has been your favorite part?

nohanging3 karma

Favourite part is probably the feeling of achievement looking at what Ive managed to cover lol

Seriously my favourite part is the changes it has started bringing about in me personally, my attitude, focus, determination, appreciation for everyone in my life....its the reason you should do this.

nonplayer2 karma

What bicycle are you using?

nohanging2 karma

nonplayer how are you my friend? (what do you mean you're not my friend?!) lol its a 13 year old trek mountain bike, 21 shimano gears, no shicks, schwelbe marathon tryes...basic but strong as an ox

Primordial_cone2 karma

Nice, I did it with an old Cannondale T800 with Schwalbes, all good until the sub Saharan rain forest....

nohanging2 karma

I almost went cannondale, what route did you take - did you cross Bots? Cheers Derek

cgregs2 karma

How can you afford this trip? Is someone sponsoring you, or did you save up a ton? Who is waiting for you back home?

nohanging2 karma

No sponsors, I am hoping to raise money for a child cancer charity in ireland with this trip. The budget is $15 per day which compared to people flying around the world is not massive - nobody waiting at home no, I wouldnt mind a grilfriend if thats what you mean? lol

bacon_boner2 karma

What do you hope to gain from this? What are you doing for money? How are you charging your phone/laptop and accessing the internet?

nohanging6 karma

Hey bacon - I hope to learn more about myself, gain real values, complete a challenge I could be proud of, see an amazing continent without a Western spin on everything. It's working: I think if you read the site, you will see why it has grabbed so much attention so quickly - none of it is exagerrated, this is more a learning experience than any college course or job I have done.

Money I carry cash. I hide it all over me and the bike in different places. Every now and again I withdraw from an ATM if I find one.....it's not hard.

Charge the laptop and cameras when I find a campsite or if theyre dead I even pay approx $15/20 for a guesthouse to do so - I will pay any price for videos and pictures, no expense spared for that. My phone the same but I also have a "powerchimp" which takes AA batteries and charges the phone when it goes flat. I only use the phone for the internet, using a local sim I can log on wherever there is signal - Right now I am on a campsite with my netbook hooked up the internet sharing on the phone. I dont do it often - its not cheap.

Cheers for the questions!

aslat2 karma

This is brilliant and so brave.
How are you accessing internet? Mobile phone - roaming? local SIM cards?

nohanging3 karma

And thanks so much for the comment before that, great support on here - so happy I put the AMA up now :)

nohanging3 karma

Hey aslat, Actually I got stuck in a town close to the border overnight - when I say I got stuck, I really mean I woke up this morning and said to myself "whats the rush?" lol

So I splashed out on $15 prepaid airtime/credit for the phone, bought a date bundle and hooked it up to my little netbook. It's like a little piece of home sitting here in my tent haha

So yeah local sim, $15 dollar data :)

aslat3 karma

Getting a local SIM is the best and cheapest way. Be careful when crossing over the borders or your local SIM will be roaming and it will eat up your data bundle very quick.

SMS your local number to friends and family. They can then contact you and you won't pay for the incoming call.

[I'm a commercial roaming manager]

If you make it across the Meditteranian to Malta, I'll buy you a beer

nohanging2 karma

Aslat thanks for all the advice and actually if I do cross that way I'll be taking you up on the beer....you noticed I was Irish right?! lol Cheers, Derek

12121212112 karma

Oh my word good luck.

I do plenty of cycling and one summer rode out, slept wild then rode home. I found it terrifying and never wished to do that again. It is very impresive what you are doing and i would not last one night. Great job on getting as far as you have, but if you do call it quits I would be pleased. I don't think the animals are as dangerous as people, someone could murder you for your money and get away with it far too easily.

nohanging3 karma

thanks for the comment. Yeah you're right people are usually more dangerous than animals

miniminch2242 karma

How do you package your stuff and where do you keep all of it while you cycle?

nohanging3 karma

Hey mini, it all goes into panniers which clip onto the sides of the front/back racks over the tyres. Its very heavy, around 75kg (the same weight as me!)

Yossi252 karma

Why?

nohanging5 karma

I knew it would be epic, and a challene to test myself physically and mentally. I didnt want other peoples fears affecting me following my own dream

jetfighterm2 karma

how much did your ass hurt after the first day and how is the relationship between your ass and your sattle now?

nohanging2 karma

haha LOL it has hurt a lot worse since but yeah it was pretty bad..tbh im more pissed off with the heat than the saddle

craigfunkulus2 karma

How much did it cost to set up the original outlay for this trip? Bike, supplies, gear, visas etc.

nohanging5 karma

Yeah a lot more than I expected Craig - it all adds up. I guess around $1,000

Count_Spockula2 karma

I am really thrilled to see you post this and I wish you only the best on your great adventure. I can't wait to look through your website and learn about your gear and everything else.

I am seeing plenty of redditors here suggesting contacts and places to go. That's great. I really want to do something like your trip!

nohanging1 karma

Cheers count, You know I haven't been able to put the kitlist up yet but definitely in the next week. I have most of it together on my netbook, picture of the bike bags etc.

On facebook Ill be sending loads of pics live before xmas at once, they should give you a big picture of what its like...trust me, its a real adventure :)

DonLothario2 karma

Please stay safe. My friend Emilee was biking from Massachusetts USA to California this fall and was struck down and killed in Ohio by a careless driver. Your trip sounds amazing but being on the road constantly can put you in danger.

nohanging2 karma

Im really sorry to hear about your friend Emilee. I hope you are coping well, best wishes. thanks for the comment I will use caution, Derek

el_coco1 karma

This sounds awesome but still a little bit dangerous in my opinion. I have always wanted to do something like that.... Anyways, I thought I could recommend some reading :) The Lost Cyclist. An interesting read.

nohanging3 karma

Cheers coco, I'll give it a look...there is danger of course, it wouldnt be real adventure without it :)

sublevelcaver1 karma

How do you handle bribes along your way?

nohanging2 karma

I don't pay them, Police are generally very fun toward me so far because they think Im crazy I guess....I get the impression they feel sorry for me.

soheevich1 karma

After your journey will end, I'm inviting you to ride a bicycle solo across Russia. It will be just a little colder and snower but I'm assure you that journey will be unforgettable. Imagine: you are cycling alone on the road, it's about -22...-40 °F, snow is everywhere, nearest town is about only 200-300 miles and nobody is around! Awww it's so attracting.

nohanging5 karma

I'm not sure I envy the complete loneliness of that soheevich but it sounds like a challenge I would consider :) will you come with me?

RedClatter1 karma

Only an Irish lad could say "Feck it lads, I will ride a bike across Africa. Mind me pint." I'd say you'd murder a nice bag a' King crisps, a bottle of Lucozade, and a jumbo breakfast roll now?

nohanging1 karma

haha hey fellow Irishman! Actually I crave for crisps a lot for some reason while riding..more than any other carbs - dont tease me with King lol. as for pints.....jaysus thats the price Im paying right there...although i have a bit of a six pack now haha

TheDoberwoman1 karma

Getting enough attention now?

nohanging1 karma

Well now that you've found your way here....

:)

jaemccall1 karma

Do you know Africa is really big?

nohanging2 karma

Serious? shit its not that big?? maybe I'm not in Africa afterall...

amazing_toaster1 karma

What did you leave Cape Town with?

nohanging1 karma

My bike, tent, 6 litres water, cash, and a packed lunch

magicsebi1 karma

Man, I want to do this too in the near future. I was really taken and inspired by Alastair Humphrey's 4-year journey around the world (also on a bike). I definitely want to do something as challenging and impressive as this.

  • I'm curious now, who or what inspired you to do something like this and
  • what keeps going even when you're having awful days?

nohanging1 karma

yeah check out his latest video - Into the empty quarter...looks insane! I bought it but cant download it - not enough speed lol

You should do it, the most important thing is that you CAN do it, you just need to push yourself into making the decision.

Inspired me? I lost both parents within 2 years of each other - my mother always told me I could do anything. I loved africa but wanted to see it without a western spin so I thought, what about bicycle - did my research and bought a flight tivcket!

Bad days? what keeps me going....strength, you learn to just keep moving, that everything passes,nothing lasts forever - not even the bad times. Sometimes I promise myself 2 days rest if I can push on a little further....check out the website blogs, they are very honest and insightful i think!

alphabubba0 karma

You going to fight any animals?

nohanging2 karma

lol I really hope not. In all seriousness though it's hard to avoid imagining something like this happening. Put yourself in my shoes, it's not a zoo or a movie, there's no happy ending - I take the thought of it seriously and just pray I never have a confrontation like that

TheDoberwoman2 karma

Pray! Aha! So you do have a backup plan! ;-)

nohanging1 karma

lol smartass ;-)

harlothangar-1 karma

You've never cycled long distances and you've chosen one of the most dangerous continents to start?

That has to be the stupidest idea ever. And I don't mean that in a positive, "it's so stupid it's awesome" way. It's genuinely stupid. It's wrestling-with-alligators stupid.

nohanging3 karma

Is that your question? sounds more like an attempted insult lol. Anyway the answer to your interesting question is....yes.

I have 2 years experience leading trips across 14 countries in South, Central and Eastern Africa harlo - I didnt jump into this blind but your exagerration suggests you did this with your "question".

yarboots-1 karma

could you maybe write me into your will?

you know, just in case...

nohanging3 karma

Whats your address yarboots and I presume you want the bicycle to take over from me eh?

MerryWalrus-8 karma

Dude, this is one of the most retarded ventures I've ever come across.

  1. You've got no training

  2. I'm guessing you're not maintaining your bike properly

  3. You've got no back up plan

  4. You don't speak the language

  5. You've got no support network keeping tabs on you

  6. Do you even know the difficulties you are likely to face with African 'borders'?

nohanging10 karma

  1. Why would I need to train, I can do that on the road?I'm fit as a fiddle now!
  2. I would say I'm close to being a qualified bike mechanic now, I have a book, I maintain it everyday, its not science - it's a bicycle.
  3. Back up plan for what? I have malaria kits, remedies, first aid, first aid training, a phone, internet, a hunting knife and always in a position where traffic passes
  4. Did you ask me if I could speak the language?
  5. Did you ask me about a support network keeping tabs?
  6. I've spent 2 years (2010-2012) leading group expeditions between Kenya and South Africa?

Mr Walrus what do you know about Africa? sounds like you're relaying your own fears here

12121212111 karma

Well it's good to hear you have some experience, just don't want to see the news one day with a story on how you have ended up dead, like Into the wild

nohanging1 karma

Yeah thanks for that, Into the Wild was unfortunate - if there's something Ive learnt so far its that being alone is not good. The posts on the NoHangingAround.com site really highlight that.

Thanks, Derek

MerryWalrus-3 karma

Africa is a huge place, I'm guessing you cycle route goes to Kenya, then what?

I think you're being a bit naive about the dangers. There are wars and conflicts ranging across most of central, northern and north eastern Africa.

nohanging0 karma

I've spent 2 years (2010-2012) leading group expeditions between Kenya and South Africa?

This is how I base my judgement, what about you?